SLPA targets Rs. 35 Bn profit in 2023
Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) will make a profit of around Rs. 35 billion this year, Chairman SLPA Keith D. Bernard.
In an interview with ‘Daily News Business’ he said that up to July this year they have made a profit of Rs. 20 billion. “We expect to touch the Rs. 35 billion profit margin by the end of the year.”
He however said that SLPA made a profit of RS. 42 billion and he attributed this increase to exchange gain as the dollar was trading higher than the present rate. The SLPA due to the import restrictions also saw a dip in revenue this year.
The Chairman also said the SLPA is now charging in US dollars and to date is the highest foreign exchange earner among State Owned enterprises in Sri Lanka. SLPA which was paying a loan installment to China towards the construction of the Hambantota harbour is no longer shouldering this burden as the Treasury has taken over the obligation to settle it.
“We have undertaken several logistic development initiatives to increase capacity and are investing a sizable amount for it while the private sector Prot operators too are following suit.”
He said the much awaited West Container Terminal (WCT) project undertaken by the Adani Group of India with its local partner John Keells Holdings, together with SLPA, is progressing as a 35-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project.
The USD 700 million project is expected to commence in November this year and its construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2025. Bernard said that this would be a very viable venture for both Sri Lanka as well as the Adani group since out of the 80% transshipment business done by Colombo Port 70% goes to India. Out of this 35% goes to Adani operated Ports.
He also said that 20% progress has been made in the construction of the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port and is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2025. Total investment would be around Rs. 600 million and is expected to be completed by the end 2024.
He also said that the Jaya Container terminal operated by SLPA too is being upgraded to increase capacity with the Stage 5 phase. “New gantry cranes will be installed by next February.”
The container throughput at Port of Colombo declined by 5.3% year-on-year (YoY) to 6.86 million TEUs in 2022 driven by decline in transshipments and import container volumes.
The transshipment volumes handled by the port declined by 3.7% YoY to 5.63 million TEUs, while transshipment volumes accounted for 82% of the port’s container throughput. “However we are seeing a positive turn around this year.”